It's a fact of life, like the sun rising every morning in the East, that most of us who drink, drink more at Christmas. Research from 2019 revealed that 61% of drinkers in the UK over-indulge with alcohol over the festive season. As well as drinking more we also experience heavier hangovers with as many as one in five people saying that they typically suffer more with hangovers over Christmas.
We're all for having a good time (who isn't!) but added to the potential stresses of wrapping up at work and buying all those Christmas presents December can be a stressful time. And we know that stress damages the ability of the immune system to do its job and keep you well. So, at Christmas time it is doubly important that you protect your health with a high quality probiotic, as research shows that it can also help prevent those horrible morning after blues.
What does alcohol do to your body to give you a hangover?
- Alcohol is a diuretic which means that it makes you wee a lot and therefore increases your chances of getting dehydrated. Along with fluids, electrolytes are also lost, which can contribute to headaches, nausea and fatigue.
- Most people don't sleep well after drinking and this is because alcohol affects our circadian rhythms as it disrupts neurotransmitters like serotonin and melatonin.
- Most alcoholic drinks have a lot of sugar in them. This spike in sugars can imbalance our blood glucose levels leading to a feeling of lethargy or brain fog.
- When alcohol is processed by the liver it is converted into various byproducts including acetate (which is harmless) and acetaldehyde which is known to be linked to hangover symptoms.
- Alcohol is also known to have effects on the digestive tract. It can irritate the gut lining by increasing acid production which can lead to inflammation of the stomach and GI tract.
The liver plays a vital role in our bodies to help detoxify the blood stream and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. When, on top of that, we ask our liver to process excessive alcohol we can affect this fundamental function. That's why we made a brew specifically to support the liver. Microbz detox (previously Bio-Live Liver) is fermented with 10 liver supporting herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion root and artichoke which naturally support the body to detoxify.
How can a probiotic help?
Introducing the incredible benefits of Bifidobacteria! Bifidobacteria are known to breakdown and detoxify acetaldehyde. Research shows that people who drink alcohol regularly have lower levels of three types of gut microbes, Bifidobacteria, Lactobacilli and Enterococci. After taking a probiotic for five days these levels significantly increased. By preventing the accumulation of this toxic by-product of alcohol metabolism, Bifidobacteria are thought to help prevent symptoms of a hangover.
Additionally, the liver enzymes in the test group, which were previously elevated, decreased to within normal levels. Elevated liver enzymes are usually a sign of liver inflammation, meaning that the probiotic seems to have effectively reduced this inflammation.
People who have a healthy, balanced gut microbiome with many and diverse types of friendly microbes may be better able to cope with drinking more alcohol. People who have a damaged gut microbiome and a lot of stress might find they suffer from more intense hangovers. This Christmas we hope that you are able to take care of yourself, relax, eat a few more sprouts and take your microbz. And most of all have a happy time with family and friends.
Merry Christmas. We'll see you in the New Year.